Charlotte, N.C. – The Utica Comets fell to the Charlotte Checkers by a score of 5-1 Saturday night at the Bojangles Coliseum.
Neither team could find the back of the net in the opening frame. The Comets dominated in their defensive zone, allowing only four shots in the first period, including holding Charlotte without a shot for over 10 minutes.
Andrew Miller broke the scoreless tie 37 seconds into the second period. Phil Di Giuseppe and Brenden Kichton were credited with the assists. Miller struck again at the 12:14 mark of the middle frame, beating Richard Bachman’s five-hole. Di Giuseppe had the lone assist. Sergey Tolchinsky made it 3-0 Charlotte five minutes later. Valentin Zykov and Kichton picked up the assists. Philip Samuelsson struck two and a half minutes later with assists from Di Giuseppe and Roland McKeown to make it 4-0.
Patrick Brown added a fifth with a power play goal less than four minutes into the third period. Samuelsson and Clark Bishop collected the assists. Brendan Gaunce ended Alex Nedeljkovic’s shutout bid with a goal at the 11:12 mark of the third period. Joseph LaBate tallied the assist. Despite firing 14 shots in the third period, the Comets were unable to muster a comeback.
Bachman finished with 14 saves. Nedeljkovic stopped 25 of 26 shots. The Comets’ power play went 0-3, while the penalty kill allowed one goal in two attempts.
The Comets are back in action tomorrow afternoon for a rematch against the Checkers. Puck drops at 1 p.m. at Bojangles Coliseum. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL Live.